Portland in Common
Common Sense. Common Ground.
People want to play a meaningful part in making decisions that affect their lives. Decades of top-down management of our city as a tourism destination and development opportunity, rather than a community of people with hopes, dreams, and good ideas of our own, has led to accelerated wealth inequality, rising housing costs, and widespread dissatisfaction with city government. The Charter Commission approved by voters this July is a sensible step forward, but governing for the common good takes more than just putting words on paper.
In order to win a Portland for all, we need to increase civic engagement, strengthen local resilience, and organize beyond the city to leverage more state and federal support.
Let’s build the power necessary to put public institutions in service to people, and make Portland a great place to live and work, not just to visit or invest in.
Increasing Civic Engagement
Community organizations, faith groups, mutual aid networks, activist movements, neighborhood associations, unions, and worker centers know first-hand the challenges we face as a city. Many have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, providing assistance to those in need and laying the foundation for a more just future. It’s time to bring the decision making power of City Hall to the places where people know what they need, and are already implementing solutions.
- Transition from a top-down City Manager form of government to a Representative Town Meeting structure in the New England tradition
- Scale City Council districts to a size that accommodates direct democracy
- Establish term limits for city councilors
- Provide public space for community organizing meetings
- Include non-English speaking communities in district decisions
- Implement participatory budgeting scaled to capture Portland’s diversity
- Establish community-driven zoning + development decisions
- Restructure + empower the Police Citizen Review Subcommittee
- Strengthen tenant unions + worker organizing efforts
- Support the development of cooperative businesses + community credit unions
Built for Resilience
Budgeting + Building for Local Resilience
The COVID-19 crisis has shown us our strengths and weaknesses as a city. As climate change continues to inundate coastlines, stress our marine industries, and displace people from the Global South, we need to position ourselves for greater community resilience, environmental sustainability, and working-class prosperity.
- Enact a local Green New Deal for sustainable building + housing security
- Restrict short-term rentals to retain working-class housing + and neighborhood cohesion
- Implement a Housing First, scattered-site homeless shelter model
- Right-size our police, education, and social service budgets to match our values
- Establish overdose prevention sites to de-stigmatize addiction + build bridges to recovery
- Divest from fossil fuels + invest in renewable energy projects, including community-owned electric power
- Protect our water supply as a public resource
- Provide public WiFi through municipal broadband
- Divest from non-local suppliers + contractors and ‘buy local’ with our tax dollars
- Establish a municipal jobs guarantee program
- Increase the city minimum wage to $15/hour
- Implement universal pre-k
- Expand community center programming to include health clinics + social services + whole family wellness + recreation
- Scale community gardens for agricultural production to end food insecurity
Organized for Power
Organizing for Power Beyond the City
Cities are on the front lines of every crisis, yet we’re the last to receive funding. Portland’s resources are limited, but we’re not alone. We must break out of localism and join with other municipalities to demand more state and federal support. When we organize for power as a city and a region, we can build the leverage necessary to put the vast resources of our government to work for people.
- Join with other Maine cities and towns to demand tax reforms that benefit the working class + greater state revenue sharing
- Lobby for a state voting holiday to ensure that all Mainers can vote without missing work
- Use secure electronic platforms to harmonize the goals of democracy + public safety
- Demand more state and federal resources to end homelessness + housing insecurity
- Invest in publicly owned commuter + light rail transportation systems throughout Maine
- Demand 6 months family leave + free childcare for all working families
- Lobby for a Federal Green New Deal + Federal Jobs Guarantee
- Implement Medicare for All
- Learn from other cities around the world that have joined the New Municipal Movement
Get in Touch
I mean it. The pandemic makes meeting people dangerous and difficult, and social media is not the place to have meaningful conversations.
Social Media Statement
Our campaign has made a political decision to boycott Facebook in support of “Stop Hate for Profit” and the billions of users whose labor and social networks Facebook commodifies without compensation.